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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: Chasing the dream
By T. F. Chezum


Will scooped a handful of sand. “This is life.” He raised his hand, sand leaking between his fingers. “No matter how hard you try, time slips away. I won’t let that happen to me.”

“How can you leave?” Heather wiped away a tear.

“I’ve got to chase my dreams while I can.”

She grasped his hand, forcing more grains from his grip. “Time isn’t the only thing that can slip away.”

“Come with me.” He caressed her blonde locks. “You don’t have to stay in the shelter.”

Her voice cracked. “I can’t turn my back on them. They need me…and you.”

They embraced.

Heather stacked the dishes, her vacant gaze without focus.

“You okay?” Valerie set the mail bin on a table.

“Just thinking.”

“He sent you something.” Valerie held out an envelope.

Heather bounded across the kitchen, snatching the letter from her friend.


Washington is beautiful, so many trees. I have an audition with a band, it’s the break I’ve been waiting for.

Miss you,

She clutched the note to her chest, a tear tracing the contour of her cheek.

Valerie hugged the younger girl. “He’s not coming home, is he?”

Heather shook her head, burying her face into Valerie’s shoulder.

Heather sat at a table near the back of the dining hall. The scratching of her pen echoed through the early morning hours:

My darling,

Things aren’t the same without you. Mrs. Hawkins says lunch doesn’t taste right when you’re not playing the piano. How I wish you were here with me.

Love always,

“You’re here awful early.” Valerie turned on the kitchen lights.

Heather recoiled.

Valerie began her morning routine. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”

“I wanted to write Will before I got busy.” Heather tied her apron.

Valerie studied her friend. “You’ve been sulking around for weeks. We’re having a party in a couple weeks. You should come and socialize.”

“I’m not really…”

“Nonsense,” Valerie interrupted. “I’ll come get you if I have to.”

“Big crowd today.” Valerie shuffled through the mail.

Heather heaved a sigh. “I know.”

“You coming to the party?”

Heather didn’t respond.

Valerie waved an envelope. “It’s from him.” She tucked it under her arm. “Promise you’ll be there tonight and you can have it.”

“You brat.” Heather laughed, reaching for the letter. “Alright, I’ll go. Now give it to me.”


The lights in Vegas are amazing. I heard they need show musicians. Wish me luck.

Thinking of you,

Heather sat in the corner, gazing out the window with an emotionless expression.

“Party’s are supposed to be fun,” an unfamiliar voice said. “I’m Jim. You must be Heather.”

Heather blushed.

“Valerie’s told me how much you help at the shelter. I could use someone like you at my restaurant.”

The young lady smiled. “I’m sorry, I can’t abandon them.”

“Maybe we could catch dinner?” Jim inquired.

Heather glanced away.

“Ah, a boyfriend.” Jim shifted his weight. “If you were my girlfriend, I’d be here with you.”

My precious Will,

I pray you catch your dreams. Jim says I deserve somebody here for me. I miss you so much.

Love always,

Heather wiped down the tables.

“Did I miss lunch?”

She looked up. “Jim, what are you doing here?”

“It’s been a month; have you reconsidered?” He smiled.

Heather stayed silent.

“Here’s my number, just in case.” He slid a card into her hand.

She ran into the kitchen.

“What’s wrong?” Valerie asked.

“I’m so confused.” Heather’s voice cracked. “What should I do?”

Valerie held an envelope. “Maybe this will help.”


I’ve got a gig in L.A. It’s my big chance. I promise some day I’ll come get you.

Miss you,

Heather crumpled the paper, eying the number on the card. Her hands trembled as she dialed the phone. “Jim? I’ve changed my mind.”

“Dinner was great.” Heather beamed. “I’ve never eaten at such a nice place.”

“Being the owner has its advantages.” He walked her to his car. “I was hoping you’d come to my place.” He traced her cheek with his finger.

Heather drew back. “I barely know you.”

“You don’t understand.” Jim grabbed her wrists. “I always…”

“It sounds like she’s not interested.”

“Will!” Heather gasped

Will pulled Jim away from the young lady. “You better leave.”

Jim sped off.

Heather fell into his arms.

“I’ve spent all this time chasing the dream,” he said. “And it was right here all the time.”

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This article has been read 986 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan04/26/07
Oooh, I loved the twist at the end :)I really enjoyed the short staccato effect of your dialogue, while managing to convey the entire story in dialogue. Very cleverly done.
Rita Garcia04/30/07
You managed to captured it all in a mere "750" words. A lovely story filled with conflict nicely tied! Great job!
Jan Ackerson 04/30/07
Oooh, you got me! Why didn't I see that coming? Good job!
Betty Castleberry04/30/07
I wasn't sure which guy to root for. I was kinda starting to like Jim. This kept my attention, and was an enjoyable read. Well done.
Pat Guy 04/30/07
GOOD JOB! You got me! I hadn't a clue you stinker!

So I guess that means you wrote this very well huh? Yep - I'd say so - if I did I mean ... say so. ;')
Jacquelyn Horne05/02/07
Very good point--chasing a dream. It was a good story, but it seemed to end too abruptly. Will appeared at the right time, but it seemed to roller-coaster after that. But all in all, it was a very good romance.
Sheri Gordon05/02/07
I really liked this -- entertaining, and very much in the romance genre.
Cassie Memmer05/02/07
Bad Jim! I'm glad the 'knucklehead' came to his senses. LOL! Great writing as usual. Loved the turn-around ending.
Sara Harricharan 05/02/07
I'm glad Will came to his senses in the end, if not I would've like to whack him on the head for leaving Heather! ^_^ Very nice touch with the letters and especially good ending with Will coming to 'rescue' her.
Loren T. Lowery05/02/07
Well, you had me guessing until the end. I kept wishing he would have ended some of his notes with "Love you" or something to that effect. However, love has seemed to have won out in the end and that's what romance is all about.
Julie Arduini05/02/07
I love the title and how you put that back in the end. Will seemed to come out of nowhere and it threw me for a bit, but once I saw the end, I was on board. Definitely a romance I enjoyed!